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What does 'One and twenty' mean here?

I figured it means 'twenty and one', and I found there is a poem titled 'When I was one and twenty'

But I can relate it to the scenes in this book when people use it for greetings



Comments  

It's just math.

1 + 20 = 21
20 + 1 = 21

But one-and-twenty is an odd way to say twenty one.

Sometimes it is used for poems, as in this nursey rhyme:

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.


When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn't that a dainty dish,
To set before the king.

Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.

But why do they use it in greetings when they say welcome, and good bye?

There is no obvious reason - it seems a little ominous and threatening to me.

Here's another poem.

When I Was One-and-Twenty

BY A. E. HOUSMAN

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
“Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.”
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
“The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
’Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.”

And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, ’tis true, ’tis true.

Apparently it is an Irish tradition.

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Yes that's the poem I mentioend in my question but just couldn't relate it to the scenario in the book.

Maybe it's just a tradition as you said.

Thank you